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Great Customer Service: A Little Bit Goes A Long Way


Your customers - you wouldn't be in business without them, right? Delivering great customer service should be as much of a priority as ensuring the quality of your product or service and running your business efficiently. But did you know that it really doesn't take much to provide great customer service?

In his book, "Zombie Loyalists - Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans," Peter Shankman points out that consumers today expect terrible customer service. He says:

“Think about it: We expect our fast food order to be screwed up. We expect to go to the dry cleaners on Thursday, when we were told our clothing would be ready, only to be told it won’t be ready until Monday. We expect the car dealership to overcharge us, and we expect the airplane to be delayed.”

So, just making the effort to get the job done right could actually produce a surprisingly pleasant – and memorable – experience for your customers.

While most companies think of customer service as a necessary tool to keep customers pleased and coming back for more, the most successful companies know that great customer service ensures that your customers are not only pleased with your product or service, but they also wouldn't dare go a day without it! They also wouldn't ever entertain a competitor's product, and they would make sure that all of their family and friends are on board. This is the "Zombie Loyalist" mentality that Shankman describes, and his formula for creating these rabid fans is simple -- and genius.

To get started, companies need to look inward. A good third of the book focuses on the company culture you need to create before you can even think about "turning" your first zombie customer - both in identifying the barriers to breeding zombie loyalists (poor internal communication, rigid procedures and inflexible processes) and how to build a company culture that generates happy employees who are ready to please and empowered to do so. You can do the latter simply by making employees feel valued, giving them freedom to do things their way, listening to (and implementing) their ideas, and providing an environment that allows them to take chances and make mistakes. Happy employees provide a breeding ground for great customer service, which attracts customers who are hungry for a positive and rewarding experience.

Once your first Zombie Loyalist is infected, they are sure to infect others, but Shankman declares that your work isn’t done. It’s time to take that momentum and lead the charge of your newfound loyalist army! Provide ways to continually engage them. Enable them to share their experiences and reward them for doing so, all the while remembering that the little things sometimes make the biggest difference to your customers.
 
Kerri Guyton is a director of client services at Obsidian Public Relations. You can purchase “Zombie Loyalists – Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans” by Peter Shankman at zombieloyalists.com. Need help refining your customer communication strategies? Reach out to insight@obsidianpr.com.
Posted: 12/2/2015 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Business, Customer, Guyton, Kerri, Loyalists, Obsidian, PR, Service, Small, Zombie




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SMALL BUSINESS
Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

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JOEL MYERS
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Marketing & Public Relations
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INFERNO
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FISHER PHILLIPS LLP
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PARAGON BANK
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